My frustration boils over and I lose my focus completely. The trance I have been holding for an hour slips away. I hear Milo sigh along with me. He claims he has no talent for Spiritualism at all, but somehow he’s able to tell the moment I gain or lose my trance. That’s five. It’s the only good thing that has come out of these practice sessions during the past week. I still can’t manage to reach my own spirit let alone the spirits in the spirit world who could tell me what on earth I’m supposed to be doing with my life right now.
The rest of my body wakes back up, and I lean against the bed in defeat. “I just can’t do it, Milo. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I thought confronting my mom would help, but it hasn’t. Not as much as I hoped it would anyway. I need to take a break.”
“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea,” Milo says. “I’m going to get a soda. You want one?”
I nod. “Something with caffeine, please.”
Celia rolls over onto her back, her head hanging off the edge of the bed so she can turn and look at me. “It’s too bad we can’t tell my mom about you, Libby. Mom’s a great Spiritualist. I bet she could tell you what you’re doing wrong.”
“I would love to meet your mom, Celia, but we’re lucky enough they never saw Milo on TV. Telling them about me would make them pick up and leave faster than anything.”
Actually, I’d love to meet Milo’s family for several reasons. The biggest one being that I don’t like being anybody’s secret. I’ve had enough secrets to last a lifetime. Milo hands me a can of soda and sits back down on the floor across from me.
“Celia’s right about me needing a teacher, though. I’m not getting this. We’ve got to find somebody willing to help,” I say.
“Maybe Mr. Walters will know of someone. People are getting used to you at school, but there’s still no way either of the Spiritualism teachers are going to volunteer,” Milo says. “I’ll try calling Mr. Walters tomorrow, but for now we just have to keep trying.”
I shake my head and groan. “No more. I’m done for tonight. I want to work on figuring you out now. I feel like we’re getting close. We’ve already confirmed you have five talents. I just have to figure out how to unlock them now.”
“Four,” he says grumpily. “We know there are four.”
Well, at least he’s admitting the first four now. Why he’s still arguing with me about Spiritualism despite it being blatantly obvious makes no sense, but I ignore him for now.
“There has to be a way to get them to come to the surface.”
Celia rolls back over and cocks her head to the side. Her eyebrow rises and her hands lift in a perfect “duh” kind of expression. “Why don’t you just try doing another Inquest? The first obviously didn’t work right, so just do it again.”
“Celia, you can’t do more than one Inquest. It just doesn’t work that way,” Milo says.
“But the first one never even happened.”
I’m about to jump into the argument when Milo frowns, and says, “No, Celia. We’re not doing another Inquest. Drop it.”
His blatant refusal brings out my combative side. “Milo, maybe it’s worth a try. I mean, maybe the Inquisitor didn’t do it right.”
“He did everything he was supposed to. The only thing that didn’t go right was me having no talents.” His angry tone is a little shocking. “I never want to go through that again. You don’t understand what it was like.”
YOU ARE READING
For Libby Sparks, turning sixteen means only one thing…death. Guardian rule demands she attend the ritualistic Inquest that will unveil her talents and secure her place in society. But that isn’t all that will be revealed in Libby’s case. The more t...